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a_elwell

[TR] Luna Peak - Standard (In a day from Ross Dam TH) 8/30/2017

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So this isn't a climb and not really a true trip report, but in the chance that this might be interesting or helpful, I decided to post my notes from our recent scramble of Luna Peak in a day. See below for splits, route beta (log crossing, bushwack) and a few pics.

 

The crux of the trip was the navigation. Nailing the creek crossing location, following the path of least resistance during the bushwack and finding the correct gully to the alpine were all critical. Otherwise it was a class 2 hike (minus the true summit traverse). The bushwack ended up being much better than what I had heard (no wallowing in swamps full of devils club!), but the gully was a bit harder than expected, very long, loose and steep, but overall not too bad. Plenty of water available in the basin south of the peak and near Luna Col.

 

Luna Peak - 8/30/17

Abram Elwell, Jenni S, Luke P

48.2 miles, 12,200' gain, 23:18 elapsed

 

Ross Dam TH, 2:33 am, 0:00 elapsed

Ross Dam, 0:12

Big Beaver Trail, 1:40

Leave Trail (After second clearing past Luna Camp, three large boulders on left, near "B" in Beaver on USGS map), 4:18

Easy cross-country travel to log jam with minimal brush until river

Big Beaver Crossing (On log jam south of Access Creek, near "v" in Beaver on USGS map), 4:28

Climb up slope while traversing right with moderate brush

Access Creek Crossing (3000'), 5:18

Bushwack upstream not far from creek with moderate brush, slide paths had waytrails through slide alder

Cross creek to southern boulder fields (3840', before slide alder!), 6:43

Access Creek Basin Camp, 7:16

Halfway up gully (5400') cross over to the gully on left, stay right at the fork. Gully is loose and steep.

Top of Gully (6240'), 8:30

Luna Col, 9:51

Summit, 10:35 (we opted out of the exposed scramble to the true summit, it looked much harder than 3rd class)

Leave Summit, 11:02

Luna Col, 11:37

Top of Gully, 12:43

Access Creek Basin Camp, 13:55

Cross creek to north, 14:20

Split from ascent route (to try Big Beaver ford), 15:29

Big Beaver ford (knee height, north of confluence), 15:50

Back to Trail (follow flagging through swamp, difficult brush, cairn by trail), 16:13 LOG JAM CROSSING BETTER!!

Big Beaver bridge crossing, 19:42

Ross Dam, 22:42 (includes two short sit down, eye-closed breaks)

Ross Dam TH, 1:51 am, 23:18 elapsed

 

Gear: Light axe (CAMP Corsa Nanotech), micro-spikes (Hillsound Freesteps6), helmet, 3000 Cals (bars, gels, chews, salt pills, rice crispy treats), three half-liter soft water bottles, emergency shelter (puffy, light jacket, baselayer pants, arm sleeves, warm hat, space blanket, garbage bag), gloves for bushwacking, headlamp w/ extra batteries, phone with gps mapping app and extra battery, gps watch with route loaded, gopro, PLB, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, buff, chapstick, TP, knife, lighter, etc: all fit in/on my Ultimate Direction AK Mountain running vest. Wore La Sportiva Mutants, thin wool socks, calf sleeves for brush, running shorts and top. Didn't bring poles but should have.

 

GPS Route .gpx file

 

Luna_Route.jpg

GPS Route and elevation profile

 

20170830_070434.jpg

Nice beach at the Big Beaver Creek crossing

 

20170905_164525.png

Big Beaver Creek crossing location

 

GOPR9195-2.jpg

Big Beaver Creek log jam crossing

 

GOPR9201.jpg

Typical Access Creek brush

 

IMG_20170831_131910_217.jpg

Approaching the head of Access Creek with the first view of Luna

 

GOPR9213.jpg

Loose gully

 

IMG_20170901_142313_904.jpg

The view of the Southern Pickets from the top of the gully

 

20170830_123006.jpg

Luna Pass views of the Northern Pickets

 

IMG_20170901_141518_234.jpg

Fury, Baker, Shuksan and Luna Lake

 

GOPR9225-2.jpg

Opted out of the "3rd class" traverse to the slightly higher true summit. Chilliwack range in background. Access Creek approach valley to the right.

 

IMG_20170831_131246_122.jpg

Best view in the Cascades? Definitely a contender!

Edited by a_elwell

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And there is no way it is 3rd class to true summit. I thought 4th for sure (and simuling with a rope nice), and that was before I was a dad.

 

Nice work and TR! Thanks for toughing the technical difficulties out.

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Wow. Sorry for the site being such ass. It is due an upgrade to totally different software which will make everything infinitely better and easier...but due to things beyond our control its just taking WAY longer then we expected. Thank you for persevering and sharing your TR, which is a pretty fucking kick ass TR btw.

 

What is next?

 

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Funny the only thing you miss with this is time. Like the more time you spend there, the better. But if this is all the time you had to do it, then bravo. I probably spent more time than this trying to clean the basement on a given weekend.

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Thanks everyone! I was inspired years ago by Leor Pantilat's (off_the_hook) TRs on this site, and after having kids, took the path of ultra-marathon trail running to get my fix of the mountains in a shorter amount of time while also taking less risk. Other trips we have done include Glacier Peak in a day (Jenni and I) and Olympus in a day (Jenni) last year. We have plenty more ideas, including another possible day trip to a Northern Picket summit next year!

Edited by a_elwell

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JasonG, Thanks for the affirmation! I was wondering if I was getting soft from my hiatus from climbing. Also, wearing running shoes and short on time...

Edited by a_elwell

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Thanks everyone! I was inspired years ago by Leor Pantilat's (off_the_hook) TRs on this site, and after having kids, took the path of ultra-marathon trail running to get my fix of the mountains in a shorter amount of time while also taking less risk. Other trips we have done include Glacier Peak in a day (Jenni and I) and Olympus in a day (Jenni) last year. We have plenty more ideas, including another possible day trip to a Northern Picket summit next year!

 

Wonderland trail in one push? :)

 

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Pretty awesome, thanks for posting the TR! Were you guys able to run the trails and just fast hike the rougher terrain?

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Running those long distances is so much fun, I feel like it's a bit of a toss up between spending a longer time in there and just the sheer enjoyment of covering so much ground in a day. Out and backs are a little bit better on the scenery front as I find myself not really looking around much towards the end of the day. Instead of sightseeing I'm usually staring at the ground in front of me repeating the mantra "Faster I run, sooner I'm done"

 

I picked up a couple guys hitchhiking at the Ross lake trailhead last week that said you guys had run by them, glad to see the spraydown on here!

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KK, Wonderland would be fun also, but I'm itching for trips that combine trail running with mountaineering! Infinity Loop, maybe? Not sure I'm up for that yet...

 

Bronco, yeah we jogged the nice flat 17+ mile trail in, and just walked the rest. We attempted to run the trail back, but the last 7 miles were pretty much a fast walk and jogging the downhills. I was holding up the others who probably could have ran. (They both recently raced a hard 100k so they are in top shape!)

 

Keenwesh, yes, I love covering so much ground! I wish I could have camped up there but we all have young kids and only so much time so I'm happy to have experienced the Pickets for the first time after dreaming about them for the past 7 years. I'm glad we ran into Ian and Kristian. We were the only ones they had seen in 5 days. While we were going in we gave them beta on the Access Creek exit route (which they weren't planning on taking) and then later in the day we bushwacked to the river crossing with them. So that worked out really well.

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